Accommodation & gastronomy in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park
Accommodation is fairly limited in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park, with the majority being in and around the towns of Cazalla and Constantina. Nevertheless, the small local hotels are of excellent quality and very welcoming.
The abundance of game, both large (deer and wild boar) and small (generally speaking, migratory birds) strongly influences the local gastronomy, as do cured pork meats such as chorizo, blood pudding and ham. Cakes and sweets are also typical, with traditional recipes using honey and locally manufactured aniseed, in either the classical style or with cherries.
Human activity in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park
Remains found in vertical caves in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park (Cueva de la Sima in Constantina) suggest that Neandarthal man was present locally. Since then, all of the historically important populations have either passed through or inhabited the area, including the Phoenicians, the Romans, and the Arabs. The main reasons for their presence were the vast grazing plains, and the dense forests whose wood was used for construction. In addition, and representing one of the most impressive vestiges of human activity at the same time as the most attractive natural “monument” in the Natural Park, is that of the Cerro del Hierro. Hierro is the Spanish word for iron, and it was the extraction of this mineral that began in Roman times and only finally ceased in the 1980s. In fact, there is still an inhabited hamlet at the site where it is possible to get a true feel of what it was like living and working in the local mines. Whether seen from a distance, or walking amongst its unique rock formations, the Cerro del Hierro is well worth a visit.
The Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park is also rich in archeological remains from other civilizations, including burial chambers and a number of necropolises.
In more modern times, the following towns and villages are either partially or wholly within the boundaries of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park: Alanís, Almadén de la Plata, Cazalla de la Sierra, Constantina, Guadalcanal, Las Navas de la Concepción, El Pedroso, La Puebla de los Infantes, El Real de la Jara and San Nicolás del Puerto.
Industry in the area includes breeding of the Iberian pig and the fighting bull, production of alcohol, and tourism by inhabitants from the city of Seville and surrounding area.
Constantina is home to the Natural Park Visitor Centre El Robledo, where information is on offer and videos are shown regarding the local economy and natural Resources. There is also an interesting botanical garden and nursery with examples of the types of trees and plants that grow throughout the Natural Park.